Pav on Juice: Interview with a Wine Advisor

Pavle MilicMarch 21, 2023
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“Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.”

Loosely translated from an old Colombian saying, this is a favorite heuristic that I continue to apply in life. And it became even more significant when our winery, Los Milics, acquired its first vineyard in Elfrida. Although Juan Flores, our vineyard foreman, is good at his job, we wanted another perspective to fine-tune the way we approach viticulture. Enter Fritz Westover of Westover Vineyard Advising, who has been in the grapevine business since 1999. I wanted to get his perspective on our part of the wine world.

Why did you choose this line of work?
Although I didn’t grow up in a vineyard or winery setting, my family always maintained a large garden. I always loved working with plants, and my father was a home winemaker… eventually I took over the garden and winemaking when in college.

You’ve worked in Texas. What are some similarities between our terroir and theirs?
The climate in the Texas high plains is similar to many of the growing regions in Arizona, but… Arizona tends to have monsoon rains late in the summer to fall, while the rain can fall at any time in Texas. The soils are mostly high pH in both states… and [both] are having good success with Italian, Spanish and French grape varieties.

What are some key take-aways about Arizona wine?
Just like other states that are expanding vineyard acreage, grape growers in Arizona are still learning what varieties not only make great wines, but can survive the challenges the weather brings.

What are some grapes that you would recommend for Arizona?
I’d like to see how Cinsault or Grüner Veltliner might perform in Arizona.

Westover Vineyard Advising


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